with Susan Mickel
October 15-17, 2021
$200, plus meals and lodging
What is karma? How does a meditation practice work with karma? These are the questions we will explore in this weekend retreat.
The emphasis will be on the relationship of the exploration of karma to our potential for liberation through meditation practice, not on a deterministic view of how the world operates. The approach will be from the Buddhist tradition, also drawing on western psychology for clarification within our western context. The assumption is that we all share innate basic goodness and wisdom, and that through our experiences in the world, we lose touch with these qualities. Habitual patterns of relating to ourselves and others interfere with connection to this basic nature in ourselves and others.
The exploration of karma includes exploration both of our deepest nature, and of the habitual patterns that keep us out of touch with ourselves and others. Compassion for ourselves and for all interconnected beings is the foundation for, and the outcome of, such practice. No prior meditation experience is necessary, but prior experience will be helpful.
For this program, the facilitator is requiring vaccination at least 10 days prior to the retreat
Susan Mickel, M.D., Ph.D. Susan has been meditating for over 25 years, originally in the Christian tradition, later in the Burmese mindfulness tradition, and, since 2003, in the Tibetan Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions. She was authorized to teach vipassana meditation by Mary Jo Meadow, PhD. Susan first taught Theravada vipassana retreats with Resources for Ecumenical Spirituality, which offers Christian-Buddhist retreats. In 2001 she completed a certificate in ecumenically oriented Christian spiritual guidance from Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. In 2005 she was authorized by Daniel Brown, PhD of Pointing Out the Great Way (POGW), and by Rahob Rinpoche Thubten Kalsang, to teach practices based on the Indo-Tibetan essence traditions. She taught meditation retreats with POGW for ten years. Susan considers Rahob Rinpoche to be her root teacher. Currently, Susan’s main teachers are Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche and Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. Other teachers who have influenced her are Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Ayang Rinpoche, and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche.
Interested in the mind since she can remember, Susan’s college major was comparative religions. After medical school at Emory University, she worked as a behavioral neurologist and directed a memory disorders clinic for 22 years at a large nonprofit multispecialty clinic. In 2004 she returned to school for a clinical psychology Ph.D. and in 2013 became a licensed psychologist. She has wide interests in psychology including attachment, geriatrics, trauma, and integrative assessment of persons with potentially neurologically-based cognition and behavior problems. Her guiding interest in all her activity is how one can influence people to help them decrease their suffering and increase happiness.
Last year Susan completed three years of intensive home meditation practice, following a curriculum traditional for a Nyingma 3-year retreat. She continues to practice intensively at home, participating in long-term practice commitments with her teachers. In the last few years, she has deepened a long-term interest in exploring personally and acting on issues related to ending racism; the past two years she has facilitated some groups in such explorations. She is retired from work as a neurologist and psychologist, enjoying time with meditation practice, family and friends, nature, and gardening.